Another round of trade talks between American and Chinese officials concluded on Friday but, as you might expect, we still don't have a clear picture of what they discussed or how much progress, if any, they've made.
The only indication we have that talks did not produce much progress is a statement from the office of Trump's trade representative Robert Lighthizer.
The two sides offered few details of the progress as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He concluded three days of meetings with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington. U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said a deal could be announced in the next four weeks. [...]
“Significant work remains, and the principals, deputy ministers, and delegation members will be in continuous contact to resolve outstanding issues,” the office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) said in a statement.
Trump himself and his advisers have made dubiously-optimistic comments about their progress, particularly his top economic adviser Larry Kudlow who says they're "making headway in a lot of areas," but I don't believe we can take their comments at face value. I have my doubts that Kudlow even knows what the current status of negotiations is.
As far as we know, Trump has not climbed down from his position that some of his tariffs should become permanent and it seems unlikely to me that the Chinese will sign on to anything while Trump maintains that position.
According to Reuters, there are no current plans for another face-to-face meeting between the Trump regime and Chinese officials who will carry out future talks by video conference.